In our sixth annual Stewardship and Advocacy report, we summarise our activities in 2022 and outline our focus areas looking ahead.
As an investor focused on the transition to a more sustainable global economy, Impax devotes great energy and resources to its relationships with investee companies, industry organisations and policymakers. Stewardship and advocacy are among the most effective levers that we can pull to influence change and help address the systemic risks facing our investee companies and the wider economy.
2022 was another busy and encouraging year for our Sustainability & Stewardship and Policy & Advocacy teams. This report provides a snapshot of this activity, from proxy voting to taking a leadership role across a broad range of industry groups and initiatives.
The two teams collaborate increasingly closely in pursuit of joint priorities in common areas of focus. We have therefore structured this report according to the four overarching pillars of our stewardship and advocacy activities: climate, nature, people and governance. For each pillar, we demonstrate our stewardship activities by showcasing engagement dialogues with investee companies, proxy voting activities and shareholder proposals, and highlight achievements and contributions to a range of policy initiatives.
- Climate: Climate-related risks and opportunities are likely to be significant drivers of investment performance across the global economy for decades to come. These risks are systemic for all companies, so both transition and physical climate risks are important topics of our stewardship and advocacy activities. In 2022, this included a focus on our Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM) targets and shaping climate transition planning, through our work with the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).
- Nature: Impax has long paid attention to nature and the risks associated with biodiversity loss, deforestation and the degradation of ecosystems. Yet there remains limited information about how companies are addressing these risks. In the last year, we worked with academic and industry partners on nature-related research and initiatives on deforestation, nature-based solutions and reporting.
- People: We engage with investee companies on diversity, associated processes and disclosures, talent recruitment and retention, and health and wellness policies. In 2022, our engagements included the areas of labour constraints and health and wellness processes in companies, and we also advocated for improved gender diversity in Japan.
- Governance: We believe corporate governance is the foundation for all companies. It provides corporate oversight, accountability, effectiveness and transparency. In 2022, we enhanced our resources in Asia, a focus region for our governance stewardship and we continued our collaboration with the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA).
Addressing the environmental and social challenges facing global society undoubtedly commands a growing sense of urgency among investors. Progress must accelerate and scale up if we are to mitigate the rising threats to ecological, social and financial stability. We continue to address these challenges by taking action to reduce systemic risks through our stewardship and advocacy work, which we are pleased to report on here.